Voters in Spain’s Catalonia region are choosing members of their regional parliament Thursday in an election called after the separatist lawmakers made a unilateral declaration of independence in October.
Opinion polls ahead of the vote put the pro-independence and unionist parties about even.
No single party is expected to win a majority, meaning a coalition will need to be formed to lead the regional government.
WATCH: Henry Ridgwell Reports from Catalonian Polling Place
Some 5.5 million people are eligible to take part in Thursday’s voting.
Spain’s central government seized control of the wealthy autonomous northern region after its parliament in Barcelona voted for independence on October 27, more than three weeks after 90 percent of Catalan residents voted in favor of secession in a referendum.
However, less than half the electorate took part in that vote.
Dozens of secessionist politicians were arrested in the aftermath, and the head of the regional government, Carles Puigdemont, fled to Belgium to escape arrest on charges of rebellion and sedition.
Eight members of the dissolved regional government and two prominent activists remain in jail.